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THR MNLady67 Recovery Thread

MNLady67

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I thought I would register for this forum as reading other's experiences has been super helpful for me. I had my surgery on Tuesday, July 28th so it hasn't quite been a week.
I had hip replacement due to Avascular Necrosis and I had the anterior approach with C-Arm on my left hip. Before surgery (and still for now LOL) I was progressively losing my ability to walk well. To me, taking long walks and enjoying nature is such an important part of my life. I cannot imagine going through the rest of my life not having an active lifestyle. I am pretty much a workoholic type of person as well so I was also getting pretty depressed in general.
Right after surgery I could walk really well with the walker (Thank you spinal block). I rarely had pain above a 2 although activity did make me nauseous. I was in a lot more pain when I got out of the hospital than when I was in. Day's 3-4 really kicked my butt. I could not raise my leg at all and had to drag it. That's when I really spent a lot of time reading here as I was so depressed thinking something is wrong etc. Today is day 6 and I am still having quite a bit of pain. The pain really isn't in my joint but in my muscles- it just wears a person down. Plus, I am cooped up at home feeling not at all productive. I didn't expect the depression that I would be feeling at this stage. Everything is tiring- even writing this post lol .I am 52 and I think I should not be complaining so much but here it is.
Does anyone have any advice for a comfortable position? I am a stomach sleeper, but, of course that is now out of the question. It seems like it's very hard to find a painless position to fall asleep in.
 

Pumpkln

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@MNLady67
Welcome to BoneSmart, glad you joined us! :welome:

Sounds like you have Log Leg, fairly common after THR's, it will improve with time.
Those first couple of days are the angry hip stage, give it another week or so and you should start feeling better.
Good pain control is important, be sure you are taking your pain medications on schedule as prescribed in the early days, as you feel better you will naturally wean off the pain meds.
I am going to leave you our post op reading, you will find an article on the post op blues, most of us go through a low period after joint replacement.

Here are the Hip Recovery Guidelines, the articles are short and will not take long to read.

Hip Recovery: The Guidelines
1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
2. Control discomfort:
rest
ice
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)​

3. Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you​
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​

4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these

5. At week 4 and after you should follow this

6. Access these pages on the website


Pain management and the pain chart
Healing: how long does it take?
Chart representation of THR recovery

Dislocation risk and 90 degree rule
Energy drain for THRs
Pain and swelling control: elevation is the key
Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

BIG TIP: Hips actually don't need any exercise to get better. They do a pretty good job of it all on their own if given half a chance. Trouble is, people don't give them a chance and end up with all sorts of aches and pains and sore spots. All they need is the best therapy which is walking and even then not to excess.

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.
 

CricketHip

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@MNLady67 :wave: and congrats on your new hiip! You have been through the worst parts and things will begin looking up soon..
Hopefully you are icing and taking the pain meds on time, now is nott he time to be heroic and skimp on the pain meds.

Plus, my favorite recovery aid was my electric lift recliner.. I rented it from a home health supply store in the areas and the delivery guys brought it inside my home and set it up where I wanted it.. I slept in that chair for at least the first 2-3 weeks..
It's not a necessity, but since you are a stomach sleeper, it might help keep your more comfortable.

After the first few weeks, many members said that their body pillows were a huge help.. you can snuggle into that nice long, cushy pillow and maybe it can help replace the need for stomach sleeping.

The recovery depression can be tough, can't it? I'm sorry you are dealing with that. I found that finding some lightweight shows to watch was most helpful. There are so many options nowadays on the streaming channels and I could doze off and on while watching and catch right back up.

Keep hanging out with us and continue reading the recovery threads, I found so many helpful ideas that way..

:flwrysmile:
 

leejaa

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I used my recliner a lot for my recovery. I slept in it for a week or two because it kept my settled especially with some pillows around me. My most helpful thing was icing almost constantly when not walking around for bathroom breaks or just to move. The first couple of weeks can be more challenging and then things usually improve. Take your medications on a schedule, ice and elevate and remember you are doing your job at this moment which is to give your hip and body a chance to recover. This can be difficult for a workaholic but it is so important to regaining our strength and ability to go out there and walk in nature and live our lives pain free and without all the limitations.
 

Ava J

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I am a stomach sleeper too. It was nightmareous the first three weeks until the doc gave me a green light to sleep any way I wanted. That's my first hip. I don't know how this second one will go. NOW, my recovery is different from yours, of course, but even on week 7 I was a bit uncomfortable sleeping on my stomach. I believe, with time it'll get used to the stretches and the pressure, but it takes a while.
What saved me was taking my pain meds. They wore me out enough I would've slept in an upside down W shape if I could force myself into it, you know? I clonked out like no one's business: watching TV, trying to play a video game, reading with my kids. As long as there was no pain, I slept. But, of course, the butt gets really sore, for us stomach sleepers. So as soon as my doc said go, I slept on my side (TEARS OF JOY!).
Some doctors have no limitations on sleep positions. Consult with your particular surgeon. He's most familiar with your case. Maybe side sleeping with a huge body pillow will be okay. Maybe a weighted blanket could help you settled down for sleep. And also agreed on the recliner. I fall asleep in that very well too. But that may be back from the days when I had infants (which is, sleep wherever you fall).
Good luck! Be patient with yourself, and remember, nobody gauges your productivity but you. And your most productive thing right now is to let your body take care of itself. Once the initial shock wears off, you'll know what to do.
 

Schaargi

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I hear you! The sleeping part is so hard to get used to and the depression is hard, too.

Reading this forum helps me feel like I'm not so alone in my journey, so definitely keep reading. Another thing I did was make a HUGE list of everything that was bothering me. I got it all off my chest. Some were big things, like the pain. But most items were all the little things that add up.

Here are some examples. I hope you can get a giggle out of them, as most have resolved by now.

"I HATE sleeping on my back."
"I HATE the compression socks."
"I want to take a bath." (I am not a big bath person, but as soon as you tell me I can't, it's what I want to do)
"The tape over my wound is peeling and slightly crooked."
"I want to wear shoes because I'm tired of stepping in dog drool."
"My feet are dry and itchy and I reach them to scratch or put lotion on them." (My husband should not quit his day job to do pedicures-he's horrible at it.)
"Which of these drugs are making my stomach upset?"
"I can't get down on the floor to smooch with my dog."

At any rate, I was completely miserable and it made me feel better to just write it all down!
 

zauberflöte

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Just chiming in to say, yes you are normal! Your body is putting all of its energy into a gigantic healing project. Sit back, snooze off, and let the body do its thing. Every week you will notice improvements over the previous, even though day by day it's usually two steps forward, one step back.

I had percocet and tylenol for pain relief, plus celebrex for a month. I hate narcotics but for the hips, I really needed them. Weaning started almost immediately, but when I needed them I took them. They make me sleepy, and I did not resist!
 
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MNLady67

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Thanks all. I had another night with little sleep and a lot of pain. I am really regretting having this surgery at this point. I know it is supposed to get better but this unrelenting pain makes it difficult.
 

Jaycey

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@MNLady67 What pain medication are you taking including the dose and how often? Note that at this stage you should be taking your full dose as prescribed, around the clock.

Are you icing and elevating for 45-60 minutes several times per day?

What is your activity level now?
 
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MNLady67

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I am now on Hydrocodone 1 tablet every 6 hours 5-325. I was on oxycodone I think 5 mg take 1-2 every 4 hours. Those ran out and yesterday they put me on the Hydrocodone. I am icing as often as I can, most of the day. Last night I went to bed around 10 after taking a tablet. Had ice on as well but have now been awake since 2:30 am. Occasionally, I have been taking a couple tylenol but it doesn't seem to do anything. Activity level- Well, I am walking around every couple hours. This morning I have been up more and have started some laundry and cleaned the bathroom a bit. Nothing heavy at all.
 

Jaycey

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This morning I have been up more and have started some laundry and cleaned the bathroom a bit.
You should not be doing any chores around the house this early out. Rest, ice, elevate and medication. Short walks around the house.

It sounds like you need your pain medication tweaked. If you are not getting any relief then it isn't working. Please call your surgeon's office or your PCP today and see if you can get something that works for you.
 
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MNLady67

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Thank you, I will rest more. I will give it another day since they just gave me this script yesterday. I really appreciate the input.
 

zauberflöte

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Hi @MNLady67 I'm so sorry you are still having too much pain. Calling your OS is a good idea! They should be invested in you healing, and it's hard to heal when you hurt! {I wrote this before I saw your response, and will let it remain because I hate seeing somebody in pain and discouragement!}

I made sure to take tylenol by the clock along with my oxycodone/tylenol5/325's. I managed it carefully so that I was taking something every four hours. For each hip my surgeon also gave all his patients an anti-inflammatory-- I had celebrex and then meloxicam, rx for a month. This, they said, was "to get me off the hard stuff". I would have preferred advil, but that interferes with the aspirin I was given for clot prevention. But my little "OCD" pain management regimen worked really well.

Glad you'll rest-- it's what we all need post op. That was major major surgery!
 

Ava J

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Thank you, I will rest more. I will give it another day since they just gave me this script yesterday. I really appreciate the input.
@MNLady67, "nothing heavy" is only in your perception. If you're putting weight/stress/movement on your unhealed limb, it's enough. You may want to take like 3 days with the new pain medication regimen and all. I'm not kidding. It's never enough to rest for 1 day for me if I overdo things. Just remember, you have your thigh cut up, bone cut up, pelvic bone drilled into for the new socket, etc, etc, etc. You're not a soldier on the front lines. Relax. Ice it. Massage it. Drink some relaxing tea/beverage of your choice. STRESS is bad for your healing. If you're stressing about chores/going back to work/relatives/creative issues, it's all gonna hinder your progress.
We used paper plates heavily in the early weeks and I only folded laundry, no loading unloading with my kids. It's a different story if you live alone (all the more reason to use paper plates, eat straight from the pot), but you just need to not worry about those things. Doesn't matter how long it's been. Heal first.
You got this. I hope you can find a way to manage your pain soon. :fingersx:
 

Schaargi

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I am now on Hydrocodone 1 tablet every 6 hours 5-325.
Occasionally, I have been taking a couple tylenol but it doesn't seem to do anything.
I had a similar issue and my doctor told me that often, those meds don't well on their own, but as a "team," they seem to work brilliantly. So I did as others have said and took Tylenol around the clock. It seems to boost the other pain killers. Just be careful that your hydrocodone doesn't already contain Tylenol. My husband had a prescription that contained both. Ask your doctor about adding in the Tylenol round the clock.
 
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MNLady67

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I slept for 2 hour blocks last night again, but at least I slept. Talked to Dr's office and they prescribed a muscle relaxer and told me I can take Tylenol as well (what the bottle recommends). I am hoping the muscle relaxer does the trick but I am also not holding my breath. They did reassure me that pain is normal.... so there is that. Thanks everyone for the support! It means more than you know.
 

Layla

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Hey it was your one week anniversary yesterday. :yay:
A belated Happy One Week Anniversary!

You’re right about “at least I slept”. Some may be envious of your two hour blocks, then again, some sleep like a baby. Strange how each of our recoveries differ so. Hopefully the adjustment of meds will help you be more comfortable. However, if it’s not, please don’t hesitate to bring it up again with your surgeon. While pain is normal, it should be manageable allowing you to sleep and not be in misery all day.
Heres to brighter days! :SUNsmile:
@MNLady67
 

zauberflöte

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@MNLady67 at one week I definitely wasn't getting 2-hour sleeps at night yet. It will come.

Does that not sound a bit cavalier, "pain is normal"? My OS school of thought was, pain is something to be managed! But that was three years ago and things have changed I think. I had a hernia repair in June, and the discharge team asked me what level of pain I'd be comfortable with, how about a 3-4? I answered that that was more than my interpretation of pain could handle, and I'd be better with 1.5-2. I think it is all subjective. My hip rx's kept things down to 1-1.5 mostly, so I used that as my guide.

I think once you settle into regular tylenol with your other and the muscle relaxant, you will hopefully get some relief. If not, call them again, says I, who would!
 

Hip4life

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It’s amazing the effect of the combo of pain and sleep deprivation can have on one’s emotions and overall feeling of well-being. That first couple of weeks were rough for me as I had a lot of inflammation and swelling so I can relate. It took some tweaking before we found the right combo of drugs. I hope the new meds work for you and soon you’ll start feeling like you did do the best thing by getting your hip replaced.
 

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